Marina Abramović: from the 'Early Years' to 'The Artist is Present'

Online 11 Jun — 25 Aug 2014 Free

A series of short films tracing some of Marina Abramović’s ideas and defining moments.

As a complement to the exhibition Marina Abramović: 512 hours, the Serpentine Galleries have worked with the Marina Abramović Institute to select a series of short films. The following videos trace some of the artist’s ideas and defining moments, as narrated by Abramović herself. From Rhythm 0 (1974) to The Artist is Present (2010), a unique body of performance work emerges, deeply invested in human interaction and different qualities of space and time.

The films are provided courtesy of MAI Hudson, a platform for immaterial and long durational works.

Marina Abramović: Early Years
“I understood that I could work with the elements: I could work with fire, water, earth, the air, with anything I wanted. And this was the beginning of my performance art. The first time I actually put my body in front of an audience, I understood this as my media.” Abramović speaks about her transition from painting car crashes in her studio to performing live in the gallery space.

Marina Abramović on Rhythm 0 (1974)
“I’m not interested in dying but in how far you can push the energy of the human body: how far you can go, and see how the energy is almost limitless.” Abramović recounts the six-hour performance in which the audience were invited to use 72 objects, including a gun, in their interactions with her.

Marina Abramović on The House With the Ocean View (2002)
In this long durational performance, Abramović lived on three platforms installed within Sean Kelly Gallery, New York, with no allowance for privacy between herself and the audience. She describes her intention to change the feeling of time within the space, in the hope that the public would forget about time in the course of their visit.

Marina Abramović Method Exercises in Nature
“When I’m in the present, I’m complete.” Abramović relates her technique for achieving a state without time, as assisted by a natural environment away from the stresses of the city.

Marina Abramović on Long Durational Work
In this video, the artist identifies some of the difficulties inherent in documenting immaterial work, especially long durational performance that concerns itself with real time.

Marina Abramović on The Artist is Present (2010)
“We are so alienated from each other, we are texting each other without seeing each other.” Abramović describes the immense human loneliness revealed to her during a defining performance at MOMA in which members of the public sat opposite the artist and engaged in a mutual gaze.

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